Minoxidil is a medication that can slow hair loss and promote hair growth in men and women. Minoxidil comes as a lotion or foam, which is applied to the affected area every day. Minoxidil is usually used for at least 4 months before hair growth can be seen and hair loss will resume if the treatment is stopped.
Evidence suggests that a stronger version of 5% is more effective, which can be purchased from pharmacies without a prescription. However, stronger doses may lead to more severe side-affects such as itching and dryness.
Finasteride works by preventing testosterone from forming into DHT (the hormone responsible for hair loss). Finasteride can increase your hair count and make people feel more hair confident. It usually takes 3 to 6 months of treatment before any results are visible. Hair loss will resume within 6 to 12 months if the treatment is stopped.
Finasteride can cause uncommon side effects such as loss of libido and erectile dysfunction.
Not suitable for:
Men with partners who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant
Men with prostate problems
Men losing hair as a result of another cause e.g. the side effect of a medication
Finasteride is available on private prescription from a GP.